I just came across a situation where a word meaning "having the quality of being compelling" would have been useful. The sentence was along the lines of:

He argued his case passionately. I think this demonstrates the [compellingness] of Yale's philosophy degrees!

I could've paraphrased to something like:

He argued his case passionately. I think this demonstrates how compelling Yale's philosophy degrees are!

.. but in this case I think it would've made the whole sentence more clunky. What I came up with in the end was 'vigor', but I don't like it; is there a word which more closely resembles 'compellingness' (which itself doesn't sound like a word to me, and the dictionary seems to back that up)?

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    Why would you call the degree compelling in the first place? Seems like an odd choice of words to me. More context might help.
    – user13141
    Oct 19, 2011 at 11:32
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    I'll give it a while for OP to clarify. If not I'll vote to close because I have no idea what OP means by saying Harvard's computer science degrees are vigorous and compelling, apart from the implication that he thinks well of them. Oct 19, 2011 at 12:22
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    @FumbleFingers The fact that the two words are nowhere close to synonyms doesn't help matters, either.
    – user13141
    Oct 19, 2011 at 12:36
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    I agree with @FumbleFingers here. The only way I can see for a degree to be compelling is if it "evokes attention" when spotted on a resume, or if it forces you to make a decision for a candidate with a Harvard degree over one from another school. Which do you mean, Jez?
    – JeffSahol
    Oct 19, 2011 at 12:37
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    @JeffSahol I'm using the following definition of "compelling": having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect.
    – Jez
    Oct 19, 2011 at 22:14

4 Answers 4


I think this demonstrates the compelling nature of Harvard's computer science degrees!


Irresistibility? Or perhaps allure?


Perhaps cogency fits the bill?

EDIT: compelling nature would work well too. Must not have looked again before editing.


The word you're looking for is compelling, as it best suits the context. Here's another word that may suit.


Attract and hold the interest and attention of; charm.

  • 3
    The word he's looking for, whatever it may be, is a noun.
    – Random832
    Oct 19, 2011 at 19:32

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